NASA Challenge Offers Artemis Coders Opportunity to Shine

NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement selected seven student teams to participate in a culminating event for the 2024 App Development Challenge (ADC), one of the agency’s Artemis Student Challenges, at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston from April 15-18, 2024.

The 2024 App Development Challenge top teams in front of the Orion Capsule in the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

The coding challenge, celebrating its fifth year and a part of NASA’s Next Generation STEM project, invites middle and high school student teams to create an application visualizing the Moon’s South Pole region and display essential information for navigating the lunar surface. Additionally, students learn about the complexities of communicating from the lunar surface with Earth-based assets from NASA’s Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) team.

Five of the top ADC teams traveled to Johnson and shared their applications with the public at Space Center Houston, and with the NASA workforce including Deputy Associate Administrator for SCaN Kevin Coggins, flight director Chloe Mehring and NASA astronaut Andre Douglas. Additionally, the teams toured Johnson’s unique facilities including Johnson’s simulation lab, robotics lab, the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility, the Neutral Buoyancy Lab, and Mission Control.

NASA Astronaut Andre Douglas reviews DV Explorers’, a 2024 App Development Challenge top team from Baton Rouge Magnet School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, application for traversing the lunar surface.

Two ADC teams that received honorable mentions were invited to attend virtually where they presented their applications to the NASA workforce including Chief Architect for SCaN and ADC Technical Advisor Jim Schier, and to the five top teams.

“The NASA ADC project helped us learn a lot about Unreal Engine 5, Unity, and Blender,” said Team Big Bang from Falcon Cove Middle School in Weston, Florida. “Not to mention, this project also provided us with life lessons such as communication and time management skills…our team will come out of this project as winners because of everything we learned.”

2024 was the inaugural year for the Artemis Student Challenge awards. Michelle Freeman, the lead teacher for Team Big Bang, was awarded the Artemis Educator Award for the ADC. She was nominated by her student team for inspiring and motivating them to work hard and achieve more than the team thought possible.

Additionally, Team FrostByte from North High School in Des Moines, Iowa, earned the Pay It Forward award. The team leading impactful education engagement events in their community. There efforts inspired the community to support their efforts and to ensure future ADC teams would have support.

“We’ve said that they are walking an unlit path because no one at our school or in our district has lit it before them. Now, they’re the ones lighting the way,” said Jessie Nunes, lead teacher of Team FrostByte.

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Student team members of FrostByte, a 2024 App Development Challenge top team from North High School in Des Moines, Iowa, explain their computer application for exploring the lunar surface to members of the public at Space Center Houston.

The following five schools were selected as top teams:

  • Baton Rouge Magnet High School: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Dougherty Valley High School: San Ramon, California
  • North High School: Des Moines, Iowa
  • Sherman Oaks Center for Enriched Studies: Reseda, California
  • Trinity Christian School: Morgantown, West Virginia

The following schools were selected as honorable mentions:

  • Eddison Academy Magnet School: Edison, New Jersey
  • Falcon Cove Middle School: Weston, Florida

Previous Years

Artemis Generation Coders Earn Invite to Johnson Space Center

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